In between Generations, dangerous ideas sometimes came out in European fairy tales and children’s stories: Woe to the child who kisses the forehead and tastes the salt. They are allowed and should die soon. A baby with a salty headache was a dangerous sign of a mysterious illness. The discovery of witchcraft has not been, however, researchers today believe that the taste of salt warned of a type of disease we now know as cystic fibrosis.
Cystic fibrosis it affects 30,000 people in the United States, and more than 70,000 worldwide. Alterations in the production of CFTR blood cells by forming the protein tunnels of chloride ions. Incorrect charge of chloride attracts water, so without a lot of chloride to enter the cells, body tissues continue to grow, breathing is difficult and often trap harmful bacteria in the lungs. It also interferes with the digestive tract in the wings and in the intestines, causing inflammation and malnutrition.
Salt sweat is a common symptom. Doctors sometimes meet with children and 10 times the amount of chloride in their sweat exceeds expectations. Since the 1960’s, experiments with specific drugs have given their doctors a clear diagnosis: They stimulate the intestines of people, sweat as much as they can, and send samples to labs. But these devices are expensive, bulky, and difficult to adapt to babies who are having difficulty walking. Sometimes the test does not collect enough water to determine. And if the test fails, parents and their baby often wait several weeks for it to return.
“Failure to collect enough sweat just slows down time to find out,” said Tyler Ray, engineers at Hawaii University in Mānoa who make clothing biosensors. This means losing valuable weeks when doctors could provide treatment. It also provides a barrier for people who need to drive long hours – or fly at sea – to get to a hospital that can test. “There aren’t many in the whole country,” says Ray. Instead, there is no one in Hawaii. ”
A team of Ray’s experts and medical professionals think they have another option: sweat collectors. Mu research published last week in Science Interpretation Science, he is said to produce a sticky, coin-rich substance that changes color because it absorbs most of the salt slowly indicating cystic fibrosis. When tested on children and adults, the stickers are filled with more sweat than traditional tools, and they do so quickly.
“This is exciting technology and something very new,” says Edward Fong, a pediatric neurologist at Hawaii Pacific Health who did not participate in the study. Fong thinks that these adhesives can make cystic fibrosis more readily available. If they agree to the rules, they say, “we should not send our patients 2,500 miles away to test their sweat.”
“Making sweating tests easier can be a clear success,” admits Gordon Dexter, a 36-year-old Maryland resident with the condition. Dexter is the leader of the Reddit group r / CysticFibrosis, where people he sympathizes with the problems of the stomach and enjoy the victory on lung bacteria. “Sweating tests can be meaningless or difficult, and that’s the most repeated question I’ve ever seen,” says Dexter.
Ray has been monitoring sweat for years. In 2016, as a postdoctoral fellow, he joined John Rogers’ lab at Northwestern University, where researchers were playing and monitoring sweat on wearable sensors. They want to create new weapons with minimal movement, valves, and dyes that can hold the body in real time. As soon as Ray arrives, lab published the paper showing a possible device that can detect glucose, lactate, and chloride ion sweat, as well as its pH. The study classified sensors as race trackers or trainers in training, and the researchers tested them on long-distance bicycle movements. The picture was very well received: Ray later worked with sports teams like the Chicago Cubs, and Gatorade said work skills selling it Gx Sweat patch. In 2017, the patches were unveiled in New York Museum of Modern Art and was used to promote hydration to Southwest celebration.